A number of my friends have new books out this month. First up, because it came out yesterday, Sandra Parhall's third installment in the Rachel Goddard Mysteries, Broken Places. There's a reason Sandra won the Agatha for her first book in the series, The Heat Of The Moon. Her follow-up was equally dynamic, so I'm especially looking forward to reading Broken Places.
Here's what Publishers Weekly said in their starred review: “Near the start of Parshall's excellent third Rachel Goddard mystery (after 2007's Disturbing the Dead), the Mason County, Va., veterinarian witnesses an argument between newspaper publisher Cam Taylor, who's desperate for money to save his paper, and popular cartoonist Ben Hern (aka Cuban-American artist Benicio Hernandez), who won't give him any, at Ben's mansion. On the drive home, Rachel spots Cam's abandoned car in the road, pulls over, hears gunshots, and finds Cam dead in the woods. Rachel and her vet assistant, Holly Turner, must take care not to become a frantic killer's next victims in a suspenseful tale distinguished by its sharp prose.”
Today my Cozy Chick pal Heather Webber's new book (and series) debuts. Truly, Madly, is the first book in her Lucy Valentine series.
Here's what Publisher's Weekly said: This clever paranormal mystery series launch is sure to delight fans of Webber's gardening detective, Nina Quinn (Weeding Out Trouble, etc.). The Boston Valentines have been professional matchmakers for generations, but Lucy Valentine's psychic talent tends to show her people's lost car keys rather than their ideal mates, so she's shocked when her parents stick her with running the
company. A vision leaves her wondering whether a client murdered his girlfriend, so she hires sexy PI Sean Donahue to find the missing woman, but while she's imagining them naked in bed, he's suspecting her of murder. Lucy has to contend with her meddling grandmother's efforts to find her a new boyfriend as she dodges the cops, hunts a killer, and struggles to explain the truth to Sean. Fun characters, sparkling prose, and a twisty plot add up to a great beginning for Valentine Inc.
My long-time friend Doranna Durgin also as a book out today, The Reckoners, which is also the first in a new series.
Publishers Weekly said: Durgin (Scent of Danger) introduces Lisa “Garrie” McGarrity and her team of Albuquerque ghost hunters in this cheerful paranormal romance series launch. Garrie learned her trade at the age of 10 from Rhonda Rose, an invisible childhood friend who turned out to be a ghost. Now “25 and over the hill,” Garrie is burnt out on helping the dead to finish their business with the living, but otherworldly bounty hunter Trevarr persuades her to fly to San Jose's famously haunted Winchester House, where the ghosts have become strangely agitated. Trevarr makes a tremendous effort to help Garrie and capture her heart, but Garrie doesn't trust him, and she's caught unawares by the dark forces arrayed against her. Readers will enjoy the humorous dialogue and ghost-busting lingo.
The third entry in the Domestic Diva Mysteries, by my pal Krista Davis, is The Diva Paints the Town. Trivia tidbit: Krista and I share the same cover artist: Teresa Fasolino also does the paintings for the Booktown Mysteries.
Here's the blurb: Puzzle this domestic diva puzzled. When Sophie's neighbor--a reclusive professor--dies, his final wish is for the Domestic Diva to throw a dinner party in his honor, and he's planned everything down to the letter. But what no one planned for is the corpse of a student that Sophie finds in his house.
It's the 9th outing for protagonist Abbey Knight in the Flowershop Mysteries, by my Cozy Chick pal Kate Collins in Sleeping with Anemone.
Here's the blurb: Maybe Abby Knight shouldn't have chosen a home and garden show sponsored by Uniworld Food as the venue for her protest against the corporation's harmful farming practices. But being bodily removed from the event won't stop her campaign. Nor will a burning brick thrown through her flower shop's window.
After she narrowly escapes being kidnapped three times, Abby calls in the big guns-her ex-Ranger boyfriend Marco and her friends and family. And then the stakes are raised by murder...
Emmy-award winning investigative TV reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is also an Agatha-award winning author. Her third Charlotte McNally Mystery, Drive Time, is brand-spanking new!
Library Journal said: Buckle up and prepare for a wild ride as Charlie McNally and Boston's Channel 3 News investigate a nefarious car theft/forgery operation and race to get their story on the air before their lives are endangered. In the meantime, Charlie becomes consumed with secret sleuthing as blackmail and suspicious deaths threaten the private, prestigious Bexter Academy where her fiancé teaches. Amid late-night stakeouts and dangerous car chases, Charlie finds time for romance, wedding planning, and bonding with her future stepdaughter. In her fourth series entry (after Prime Time, Face Time, and Air Time), Ryan once again channels her Emmy-winning investigative reporting expertise to craft a realistic and compelling mystery, full of hairpin turns and dangerous intersections at breakneck speed. VERDICT Placing Ryan in the same league as Lisa Scottoline and Julie Kramer, her latest book catapults the reader into the fast lane and doesn't relent until the story careens to a stop. New readers will speed to get her earlier books, and diehard fans will hope for another installment.
Looks like I've got some very good reading ahead of me.
I hope you'll try these books, too!